How do you work through the Power Family Group of Archetypes? – Part One

In our exploration of the archetypes of the Unconscious mind, let us now look at the Power Family which includes the Queen, the King, the Hero/Heroine,

the Princess, the Damsel, the Warrior and the Knight. Perhaps surprisingly, it also includes patterns such as the Beggar, the Servant and the Martyr. This month, we will explore the Queen, the King, the Princess and the Damsel.

Queen Elizabeth I gave us a clear picture of what it meant to be a Queen. The Queen archetype represents power and authority but it is not easy to work through. The Queen often leads a lonely life and has to be aggressive to protect her position. However, she protects those in her court, and sees her own empowerment enhanced by her relationships and experience. Variants of this archetype include Snow Queen, Drama Queen, Drag Queen and Queen Bee. The shadow aspect means that she (or he) can be prone to hysteria and being manipulative. S/he can also be arrogant and defensive over the protection of her personal and emotional power.

The light aspect of the King archetype is benevolent, has natural authority and rules his kingdom by exerting just control over it. However, we only have to look at history to see the shadow. Henry VIII may have begun his Kingship in a benevolent way but the abuse of power became all too evident in his later life with his demonstrations of cruelty, entitlement, a resistance to criticism, questioning, controlling behaviour and even murder.

The Princess archetype was wonderfully embodied by Diana, Princess of Wales.

Always beautiful, pure and young, she was polite, courteous, considerate and caring. Her nobility demanded that she marry a prince. The Princess, however, is always given a test to break her sense of powerlessness. If she fails to overcome the test, her shadow aspect will appear. She won’t use her intelligence, she will have little control over what happens to her and she will be generally passive.

The Damsel archetype is similar to the Princess but with important differences. She also is always beautiful, vulnerable, and in need of rescue. However, her rescuer will be a Knight rather than a Prince and, once rescued, she will be looked after and stay locked up in her castle rather than venturing out to become a Queen. Like the Princess, the Damsel must become empowered and learn to take care of herself in the world. However, she will never be rich like a Princess. The shadow aspect of the Damsel is the suggestion that women are weak, helpless and in need of protection and it teaches women to expect someone else to fight her battles for her. Though we no longer live in medieval times, how many modern women are still longing to be rescued by a Knight in shining armour?

If you want a deeper understanding that these newsletters can give you, or you can’t wait for the next instalments, then I run workshops on archetypes as well as private sessions in person or on Skype and would be delighted to help you discover what you were born to do and who you were born to be.

Happy observing of yourself and others, and enjoy November!

Love Laurelle